GALLATIN, Tenn. (BNc) by Ken Thomas — A South Sudanese man in Tennessee learned the gospel because an Adventist friend in Minnesota encouraged him to seek out a church of Christ.
This interesting case of conversion was reported by Doyle Farris, outreach minister with the Hartsville Pike congregation.
Recently, Stephen, a local man with South Sudanese background, went to Hartsville Pike’s Sunday assembly and asked for information about the churches of Christ. An elder gave him a study booklet which teaches first principles of the gospel. By Monday he had studied and filled out the questions in a good portion of the study. He asked for a personal study with Doyle.
Later in the week, he returned for another study, and eventually he carried the information he had learned to his wife and four children. They attended worship together, and this past Friday the man was baptized into Christ.
Stephen had been a member of a Sudanese Presbyterian church but felt he was not growing spiritually as he should. He contacted a friend in Minnesota and asked for advice as to where to turn spiritually.
The friend, a Seventh-Day Adventist, had been convinced that he, himself, needed to make a change spiritually, and he advised his Gallatin friend to find a church of Christ to receive accurate instruction in the scriptures. It was on the advice of a South Sudanese man who had migrated to Minnesota that a Tennessee resident learned about the churches of Christ.
Two men who escaped the horrors of South Sudanese violence in the past have now found the peace and security that is in Christ. Santino Haar was able to get acquainted with his new brother in Christ this week. Having met in the past, they now have a common bond that is much more important than their human origins in two tribes of Sudan.
Who knows but what the advice of Santino to those who gathered in Omaha in May (to discuss plans to build a clinic in Unity State, South Sudan) helped cause what happened this past week. He told the Panaruu conference that when they went home they needed to find a church of Christ and learn the Bible. And that was before he, himself, had been baptized.
In Gallatin there is now a family of six which has begun to learn about the Lord’s church.
Also, in far-away Kenya, Santino’s wife and four children and other relatives Santino supports will soon have opportunity to study the Word more carefully. Personal contact has already been made by Christians who have visited their home. Pray that the seed sown will bear more fruit for the kingdom of Christ.
I believe that the kindness and warmth shown to Santino during his visits at the Beech Grove congregation near Murfreesboro had a part in his conversion. Without doubt, if no conversation had been made with him about the church, he would not have been a Christian now.
Let us all understand that when the seed of the kingdom, the Word of God (Lk 8:11), is planted in honest hearts by teaching, and when it is watered by others who provide encouragement to the seeking soul, God gives the increase (1Co 3.5-10).
Use every open door you can find to share the gospel, and use every opportunity to help encourage both students and teachers of the Word of God. The gospel is for all, so let us be busy getting the message out (Rm 1.14-16).